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A New Opportunity for Landowners

A New Opportunity for Landowners

Tuesday 12 Nov 2002 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Environment & Conservation

A real export opportunity exists for landowners with suitable habitats for geckos, ACT Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"With New Zealand geckos fetching up to $34,000 on the American market, New Zealand farmers could forget about dagging lambs and milking cows and turn their considerable expertise to breeding geckos. Predator fences that exclude cats and stoats would become affordable with the added advantage of including kiwi and other endangered species behind secure surroundings. Breeding these highly sought-after creatures would become an extremely profitable experience for the farmer - and for the geckos. The chance of world travel is one no self-respecting gecko would turn down.

"The flow-on effects for New Zealand indigenous wildlife would be immense. Inland island sanctuaries would spring up all over New Zealand. In due course should over-supply of New Zealand geckos swamp the world market, we would have ensured the survival of one of the world's most engaging creatures.

There is only one problem - gecko trade is illegal. Perverse DOC logic dictates that it is better to allow such creatures to become extinct then to allow a legal market to develop. The survival of the New Zealand gecko is under greater threat from CITES (Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species) than from commerce," Mr Eckhoff said.

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